Dale commission OKs  landfill schedule change

Changing the day that the Dale County Landfill is open four times a year was approved at the Dale County Commission meeting June 8.

Without discussion, the commission unanimously approved changing the open-for-business day to the third Saturday of each quarter.

Dale County Commissioner Frankie Wilson first brought the day change request to the commission at the

April 27 commission meeting. “What made me bring this up is that due to some changes with the other landfill in Midland City we need to relook at when we open our landfill to the public,” Wilson said at that commission meeting, referring to the recent sale of Rose Hill Landfill. “Most people work on Mondays. I’d like to change that day to Saturday. I get a lot of calls about the landfill.”

At the April 27 meeting, the commission approved opening the landfill, located at Bivins Drive off of County Road 30 five miles south of Ozark, to the public the third Saturday of each quarter starting in September of this year. The landfill open date set for June will remain Monday, June 28.

The Dale County Landfill has been “mothballed” since 2015 after the commission heard a report from a consultant who outlined options for closing the Dale County Construction and Demolition Landfill.

At that time, the commission had retained a consultant in hopes to eliminate the financial losses being incurred by the county in operating the landfill. They expressed interest in the option that called for cutting the landfill’s hours of operation to a minimal level. “You don’t get out of the landfill business, but you restrict the hours of operation,” the consultant had advised them at a February 2015 commission meeting. “You restrict operating hours so 98 percent of the time there’s nobody at the site, the gates are closed and you don’t have to have equipment there for anything except to respond to an emergency. You eliminate a lot of your expenses.”

“Over the years, the amount of business we have there has deteriorated to where it’s basically Ozark and two or three other customers,” then Dale County Commission Chairman Mark Blankenship said at that time. “We’re losing on average between $55,000 and $60,000 a year.”

At a Level Plains City Council meeting in December 2015, Dale County Commission Chairman—then a Dale County Commissioner—Steve McKinnon told the council that “mothballing” the county landfill was a less expensive option for the county. “It costs about $100,000 a year for a permanent closure,” McKinnon said at that time.

At the commission meeting April 27 when the topic of the day change was introduced by Wilson, Dale County Commissioner Charles “Chic” Gary suggested that if the commission changed the open day at the Dale County Landfill from the last Monday of each quarter to the last Saturday of each quarter that its use be monitored. “If there is little or no use, we should move it back to the last Monday of the quarter,” he said. “There is no use in the county expending funds for the convenience of somebody who is not going to use it.”

In other business, the commission unanimously approved a request from the Ozark-Dale County Economic Development Corporation for $298,000, from the county’s Lodging Tax fund to be earmarked for the repairs to the 105,484 square foot former Van Heusen building on West Roy Parker Road in Ozark.

In unrelated business, the commission approved the request of Commissioner Donald Grantham for county engineering department assistance with some pothole patching of streets in the city of Level Plains. The cost will be 100 percent paid for by the city of Level Plains, according to the request.

In other business, John Cawley was appointed to the Vivian B. Adams School Board to replace Bill Kamerer who is rotating off the board.

The next meeting of the Dale County Commission is June 22 at the government building in Ozark. A work session begins at 10 a.m. and is followed immediately by a voting meeting. Both meetings are open to the public.

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